THE ROMANTIC COMEDY has taken something of a backseat in recent years. With numerous instalments from Marvel Studios hitting the cinema to highly anticipated blockbusters like Oppenheimer and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, it seems the high-octane, adrenaline-inducing action blockbuster is commanding all attention. As entertaining as they may be, every night can’t be an action movie night. After a long day at the office, endless Zoom meetings or a tight deadline, sometimes you just want to hit play on something that’s light-hearted but not mind-numbing: cue the rom-com.
The romantic comedy presents a unique cross-section of movie genre, providing audiences with multi-dimensional characters and storylines we can all resonate with. Whether you’re participating in the great garbage fire that is modern dating, lusting for ‘the one’ or simply wanting a good laugh, the rom-com has it all. And for anyone who feels you can only admit to wanting to watch one on Valentine’s Day alone—think again. Thanks to streaming giants like Netflix, there are endless rom-coms for your viewing.
Whether you’re watching with a partner, friends or simply wanting to be swept off your feet alone, we’ve rounded up the best romantic comedies on Netflix that you can watch right away. Get that armful of snacks at the ready and hit play on these new takes and familiar classics.
What are the best rom-coms on Netflix?
How To Be Single
Anyone who has ever dated in the modern age can attest it’s not all laughs and instant matches. Rather, it can be a minefield of ghosting, catfishing, and playing a game you never even heard the rules to. Starring Dakota Johnson, Leslie Mann and Rebel Wilson, this film follows four friends and their approach to singlehood, from playing the field to trying desperately to crack the dating-site algorithm.
You might not have thought to pair Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen together in a rom-com, but it’s this pairing that makes Long Shot such a delight. When a presidential candidate (Theron) hires the services of Rogen’s opinionated speechwriter, the pair come to see they have a chemistry that’s undeniable.
You’ve Got Mail
The 1998 classic catapulted rom-coms into a new tier of celebrated genre, with thanks to exceptional screenwriting and—of course—the performance of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. When the pair meet and fall in love online, believing they’ve never met, they’re in for a big wake up call when they discover they have met—and hate each other.
Made of Honor
It’s a situation many can resonate with: you’re playing the field only to discover your true feelings for a close friend when they become engaged. Patrick Dempsey is hilarious as a serial date who finds himself in just such a situation, and after being asked to be the maid of honour, he uses his role to try woo the love of his life.
What’s Your Number?
For anyone who has wrestled with the question you may have already dated—and then dumped—your soulmate, this is the film for you. Believing such a thing to have happened to her, Ally (Anna Faris) uses the help of her neighbour and ladies man (Chris Evans) to track down her 19 exes to find the one who got away.
Friends With Benefits
The concept of friends with benefits isn’t a new revelation and its precisely that premise that makes this rom-com a classic. Starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, the pair strike up a friendship only to come to an agreement in which they capitalise on their undeniable chemistry. The rules? Strictly casual sex, with no emotional attachments.
Just Go With It
Naturally, Adam Sandler never misses when it comes to rom-coms. The Sandman delights in this film which sees him play a plastic surgeon who comes to meet ‘the one’. But after years spent pretending to be married, he has to enlist the services of his assistant (Jennifer Aniston) to pose as his soon-to-be ex-wife.
Your Place or Mine
With Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, Your Place or Mine proves rom-coms are back in a big way. The film follows the pair of best friends who lead opposite lives, only to decide to swap homes for a week as they’re granted a look into how the other person lives.
It may have been released in 1994, but there’s a reason Only You remains a favourite for rom-com afficionados. When an engaged woman heads to Italy to find her soul mate after a chance phone caller’s name matches that of the man she was told as a child she’d marry, love and hilarity ensues.
Always be My Maybe
In her directorial debut, Ali Wong plays Sasha Tran who returns home to San Francisco only to be reunited with her childhood best friend, Marcus Kim. The pair are reminded why they were so close in the past and find themselves slipping back into friendship and maybe something more.
Good On Paper
Written by stand-up comedian Iliza Schlesinger who also stars in the film, Good on Paper was inspired by her own personal experiences on the dating scene. After putting love on hold, when Andrea Singer begins dating the perfect guy, she suspects he’s too good to be true and ropes in the services of her friends to get to the bottom of who this ‘catfish’ really is.
The Kissing Booth
Light-hearted and a little silly, The Kissing Booth is the perfect antidote to a stressful week. Starring Joey King as Elle Evans, she finds herself torn when she finds herself falling for her best friend’s older brother (Jacob Elordi).
50 First Dates
This hilarious comedy sees Adam Sandler reunited with Drew Barrymore on the screen. When a veterinarian falls for an art teacher with short-term memory, he must find a way to win her over again, every single day.
To All The Boys: Always and Forever
The third and final film in the To All The Boys franchise sees Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky at crossroads. Having returned from an incredible trip to Korea before heading into senior year, Lara Jean weighs up her college plans, with and without Peter.
As anyone who has ever gone through heartbreak can attest, the feeling is torturous. Someone Great follows Jenny (Gina Rodriguez) in the aftermath of a breakup from long-term boyfriend as she lands a music writing job at Rolling Stone in San Francisco. With the help of her friends, she embarks on one final adventure in New York City and tries to remember it without the cloud of heartbreak that now hovers above her.